Continental: Covid may spark China EV surge

86% of Chinese respondents to German manufacturer's survey are open to buying EVs
UTC / February 9, 2021
By Ben Spencer
Continental study shows lack of charging is top concern for four out five countries (© Surasak Petchang |
Continental study shows lack of charging is top concern for four out of five countries (© Surasak Petchang |

A Continental survey has revealed that while personal vehicle use has increased in China during Covid-19, this could lead to a boost for electric mobility. 

In cooperation with social research institute Infras, the Continental Mobility Study 2020 quizzed people in France, the US, Japan, China and Germany on their mobility habits.

More than 45% of respondents in China said they use their car more often because of the coronavirus pandemic – almost twice as high as the figure in Germany (23%). 

Car ownership is likely to continue in China, with 58% of participants stating they are thinking about buying a car or have already done so.

This figure exceeds those for Germany (6%), France (11%), Japan (6%) and the US (15%).

Continental says this development could lead to a boost in electric mobility in China as 86% of respondents said they could imagine buying an electric vehicle (EV). By comparison, only 35% of people in Germany and 28% of people in France said the same. 

Andreas Wolf, Continental executive board member, says: “We are shaping electrification at all levels and across all vehicle segments in order to reduce emissions, especially in cities, while at the same time designing environmentally friendly mobility for everyone and creating modern as well as sustainable mobility solutions.”

Other findings show that the lack of charging stations is the most cited argument against EVs in four out the five countries in the study. Only in France is the price the most discouraging factor. 

However, Continental recognises that other obstacles cannot be overcome by technological developments alone. 

A third of respondents in Germany and a quarter of those in France said they would not consider an EV because they doubt the technology is environmentally friendly. 

Those who doubt the ecological credentials of EVs is much lower in the US, ranging from 11% in the US to 1% in Japan. 

Continental initially focused on electric mobility in its Mobility Study in 2011 and then covered attitudes toward this topic in the 2013 edition. 

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